Proximity

This damp and amphibious track extrapolates from field recordings of an immense network of stuttering frogs, which we encountered on Yorta Yorta country in South-Eastern Australia. The frogs reacted to their presence and movement by altering the intensity and volume of their vocalizations, creating an organic techno. The singular texture of PROXIMITY is the result of this collaboration with wetland wildlife.

The frogs’ reaction to their sense of [in]security led us to draw parallels to how physical and emotional proximity affect human societal relations, a concept we explore in the slime-covered video for PROXIMITY. Released by the poetry journal Interim, this visual artwork lurches and staggers across bodies in motion to ask the question, “Does our Proximity Bind Us?”

We have had so many meaningful interactions in the process of field recording. One night we were camping on the Barmah Lakes in the lands of the Yorta Yorta nation in south-eastern Australia. We had been invited there by Yorta Yorta elder Professor Wayne Atkinson to go “on country” with a group of students, to learn the cosmology and history of his people and their contemporary struggle for sovereignty over lands that were taken by the settler-colonial nation state.

As twilight settled over the lakes we began to hear these strange clicks and pulses that sounded extraterrestrial, as if some force was mapping the space through sound. We took our recorder out into the marshy wetlands, to try and record this entity, but wherever we were, the sounds were escaping us, it was as if we had a negative force field pushing away whatever this thing was creating these strange sounds. After moving further and further along the banks, but getting no closer to the sound, we decided to stop moving altogether and just listen.

It was then that the sounds began to approach us, gradually coming closer and closer, more and more of these clicks and pulses until we were subsumed within them and we saw, at our feet a tiny, tiny frog pulsating in our torch light.

It’s tempting to think about art as a form of mastery but just as often, creating art is as much about giving up control. Through this experience we realised that sensitivity is at the heart of field recording. The frogs established a set of terms that made it possible for us to share space with them and they also taught us that rather than being in a perpetual state of doing, that sometimes the work is more about un-doing or doing nothing.

The frogs also got us thinking about nearness, safety, and community. How do safety and care shift in relation to physical proximity; how does the grievability, or the extent to which we value and grieve for other lives, change relative to how close we are to them (physically?). What other kinds of proximities exist besides physical ones and how can they be utilised to create networks of care? In the visual work for Proximity, we invited a team of dancers, Bishop Black, Tereza Silon, Simon Pet-toe, Trauko and ROC to explore how closeness—physical proximity–shifts our emotional response to each other.

PROXIMITY is the first in a series of singles, mixed-reality performances and a/v installations entitled Foreign Bodies. The works surface from an ongoing practice of learning from the individuals and communities who move in resistance to, in spite of, and as a result of, the management and control of bodies by nation-states, corporations and other authoritarian actors.

Music, Concept, Design, Styling and Editing: HYENAZ
Choreography: Mad Kate
Cinematography: Jo Pollux and Raja de Luna
Movers: Danilo Andrés, Tereza Silon, Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau, Bishop Black, ROC, XIL
Audio Mastering: Becki Whitton

Thanks to Rainer and Ray and the folks at Berlin label SPRINGSTOFF.

Published in Interim 35.2 – The Body Issue – April 2018

Published

Extraction

Extraction will be the fifth audio visual work and performance intervention in our foreign bodies project and is expected to be finish in late 2021. Extraction is about how extractive processes (environmental, intellectual, and physical) are replicated within the arts and how we can find ways to resist and mediate those processes.

The project began with our field work in a rock quarry in Apricena, Italy, where we gathered sounds, images and writing. This scar in the earth – both beautiful and disturbing – illuminated our role as artists in a society structured by extractive forms of capitalism. To develop a performative response, we will focus on accountability practices and proactive techniques to resist extractivist practices—especially looking inwards at the way in which gathering sound can be fundamentally extractive.

The concept of extraction situates all kinds of “innocent practices” as carrying the potential for exploitation and harm. We use extraction as metasignifier—we include the extraction of (creative) labour from (precarious) bodies, minerals, gas and water from the ground, sounds, words and images from sentient beings, as well as the “mining of the exotic” from our very selves. In response we ask: What are the problematics of extraction which appear within (always-already) hierarchical collaborations? How can processes compromised by extractive dynamics resist extraction? How can we name them, rather than erase them? What are the limitations of the extractivist framework? Are there other ways of finding reciprocal relations between artists, subjects, and nature?

We want to especially thank Donato, Maria-Teresa and the community in and around Apricena, Italy.

Published

Columns

Lines That Maintain a violent order / Lines that distinguish a violent event / Those lines do not hold / The forest floor / Leaves like our bodies / Scattered in time

Our nostrils full of earth / Leaves decay / White lines / Feet march / Lines our bodies form / Are scattered by time / Day is gone / Its heat Is gone / Its sounds gone / As all things return / To stillness

Columns is a response to militarized violence and to History, specifically the historicising mode which focuses on events and important persona, while blurring events and persona deemed unimportant or inconsequential. Though the track sounds like industrial techno, it is built entirely from vocalizations and organic percussion recorded deep within a cave outside the pilgrimage town of Częstochowa, Poland, with Bartłomiej Kuźniak. It is second in the series of audio visual works and performance interventions entitled Foreign Bodies; works that emerge from the sonic shapeshifting of field recordings gathered in refugee camps, migrant transit centers, ancient stations on paths of pilgrimage, indigenous grounds, and intentional communities. These are places where bodies have been explicitly managed, controlled, feared and annihilated.

The single, “Columns” is out on Canadian techno label OBSKUR MUSIC, with remixes by Lady Maru, Bad Conscience, Consumer Refund and NVRS. The video, created in collaboration with Xenia Østergård Ramm and Old Erik from the Hackstage artist collective, was produced using analogue video processing to deconstruct footage of stalactites, trees and wind turbines collected in the caves of the Harz Mountains.

Published

Foreign Bodies

Foreign Bodies is a sonic and somatic exploration of bodies: bodies in motion and bodies in migration; bodies managed by internal and external forces; bodies navigating boundaries set by others; bodies negotiating boundaries they set for themselves; bodies in flux; bodies in synchronicity; bodies in resistance to management and control.

Initially, Foreign Bodies emerged in response to the paranoia about migrant flows into Europe, as well as into our former home countries of Australia and the United States. What really interested us was, and continues to be, the way that movement shapes our subjectivities and how our subjectivities shape both the way we move and the way we are allowed to move. While some bodies can move freely across borders as tourists, others risk their lives to migrate. This reality has become so normalised that it’s easy to forget that there is nothing normal about it at all.

Foreign Bodies also seeks to interrogate the notion of the foreign, whether it emerges from a xenophobic narrative which hates and fears the foreigner, or whether its formed from the perspective of allyship which may nevertheless exoticise or make exceptional the Other. We want to identify and think through some of the ways in which we produce the unknowable subject within our own communities and even within our own bodies.

Using field recordings – which are moments in time materialised as audio – we create artworks that initiate conversations around authority, boundaries, consent, and proximity. We move by train, bus, bicycle and hitchhiking to witness, volunteer in and experience–migrant camps, transit points, communes and artists colonies.

These questions have taken us further than we imagined, to investigate the different ways human beings construct an Other, whether that be a fellow human, an animal, plant or stone.

Published

Unsere Stadt aus Vogelaugen / Eine Gegenwartsbewältigung im Dunkeln

Unsere Stadt aus Vogelaugen / Eine Gegenwartsbewältigung im Dunkeln
Leseperformance von Sivan Ben Yishai
Sounddesign: HYENAZ
Datum 25.10.2020 17:00 bis 18:30 Uhr
Veranstaltungsort: Münchner Kammerspiele

Presentiert von: Tage der Jüdisch Muslimischen Leitkultur
Web: https://www.tdjml.org/event/tdjml-2020-meets-munchen

Am 3. Oktober 1938, nur kurz vor der Progromnacht, verfügte die Stadt Dortmund den Abriss der Großen Synagoge. Diese Anordnung wurde im Dezember 1938 umgesetzt. In einer besonderen Zusammenarbeit mit HYENAZ, stellt die Schriftstellerin Sivan Ben Yishai ihren Text: “Unsere Stadt aus Vogelaugen/ Eine Blutung im Dunkeln” vor. Die performative, musikalische Lesung ist auch eine Meditation über die 35 Tage der Reue, die zwischen dem 3. Oktober und dem 9. November liegen. Im Anschluss liest Max Czollek Passagen aus seinem neu erschienenen Essayband „Gegenwartsbewältigung“ (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2020), welches auch von der Jüdisch-Muslimischen Leitkultur als künstlerischer Vision einer Gesellschaft der radikalen Vielfalt handelt.

Die Veranstaltung findet in Kooperation mit dem Ausarten-Festival und Keshet Deutschland statt.

Published

Beyond Possible

BEYOND POSSIBLE
Goethe-Institut: Virtual Partnership Residency
Lebenswelt/Lifeworld: Jova Lynne x HYENAZ
EXP Award: Goethe-Institut Chicago

Beyond Possible is the result of a Lebenswelt/Lifeworld Virtual Partnership Residency between Jova Lynne and HYENAZ, through generous support from the Goethe-Institute and curated by Nadia Says for EXP_. Field recordings and visuals were gathered in Berlin, Germany and Detroit, Michigan. Composed and edited by HYENAZ, 2020. With special thanks to Jessica and Vness.

The field recordings for Beyond Possible were gathered during July and August 2020, with the intention of finding and creating sanctuary. With sanctuary in our minds, we took a parallel journey in each of our cities, making three stops: 1-Fire/Hearth, 2-Water and 3-Cosmos.
In each of these stations we used the following methodology for gathering our sound and visual samples.

Methodology

Grounding. Find a comfortable position where you can relax your body into the location. Think about grounding. If you feel comfortable, come as physically close to the ground as possible. Lie on the ground. Let whatever parts of your body that touch the ground sink deeper into the ground. Concentrate on rooting. Put your sound device on the ground and mm press record. Capture the ambient sounds located there.

Deep Listening. While letting the recording run, think about the sound that you hear. What sounds do you hear closest to you? What is more distant? What is even further away? Take note. You can also move your body in small micro-orientations to signal that you receive the sound. It could be an arm movement or a very subtle shift in your weight, depending on how you are positioned.

Articulations. From this grounded space, what words come to mind. Try not to edit yourself. Just say the first words that come to mind. Say them outloud so that they are captured by the device. Don’t worry at first about capturing a good recording, just let the words flow. Once you know what they are, pick up your sound recorder and say the same words again clearly into the microphone.

Colour. What colour association do you make or feel as you occupy this space? Does the colour have a sound? Does the mood produced by the colour have a sound? Make a sound offering into the microphone, a squeal, song, gurgle, scream … be free
Immediate concentric circle. From this specific place, take your camera and move slowly around your location in 360 degrees. This is the immediate circle and site of “home”. Move slowly so that you can notice details around you.

Concentric Circles. Travel with your mind in concentric circles starting with the closest circle and moving out further and further like the skin of an onion. Name what is there and what it means for you, what is its significance, personal, political, contemporary, historical, futurological.

First sound. Leaving the center of your circle, go towards one of the sounds that you noticed during your deep listening. Get as close as possible to it and press record. Try to record that sound for at least 2 minutes without interruption and, if possible, without ambient interruptions

Found instrument. Find two objects within and around this site which can produce distinct sound and “play”. For instance, a wire scraped on a bench, or a tin can on the cement ground. Play your instrument while the recorder is set on the ground in a set location and record for at least 2 minutes. Let yourself record both distinct “hits” of the instrument as well as experiments in rhythm

Published

Annies: ein gesangliches Konzert

Die Droste Lectures entstehen 2020 im Dialog zwischen zwei Autorinnen: Sivan Ben Yishai und Maren Kames. Zwei der kraftvollsten Schriftstellerinnen der jüngeren Generation sprechen mit uns und Droste über Krieg und Frieden durch die Jahrhunderte und in der Sprache. Produziert von und mit den Sounddesignerinnen und Filmemacherinnen HYENAZ.

https://www.burg-huelshoff.de/medien/mediathek/droste-festival-2020-believe-in-us/sivan-ben-yishai-maren-kames-hyenaz-performance-droste-lectures-2020-annies-ein-gesangliches-konzert

Published

Oder: Du verdienst deinen Krieg (8 Soldiers Moonsick)

Von Sivan Ben Yishai
Regie Sasha Marianna Salzmann
Sounddesign: HYENAZ

Team: Bühne + Kostüme: Cleo Niemeyer, Dramaturgie: Rebecca Ajnwojner, Dramaturgische Mitarbeit: Anna Heesen, Licht: Fritz Stötzner, Ton: Miloš Janjić,Übersetzung: Maren Kames

Berliner Morgenpost: Das sind die besten Inszenierungen des Jahres

Eingeladen zum Radikal Jung – Festival für junge Regie 2020.

Premiere: 8. November 2019 Gorki Studio Я

Acht Frauen proben in einem Militärcamp den Ernstfall, bereiten sich vor auf den Einsatz, den Krieg. Sie reden und sie träumen davon, nachts auf ihren rostigen Bettgestellen mit den dünnen Matratzen. Die israelische Autorin Sivan Ben Yishai verdichtet die Wachträume und Erinnerungen dieser Frauen zu einem vielstimmigen, drängenden Text, auf dessen sprachliche Wucht Regisseurin Sasha Marianna Salzmann uneingeschränkt vertraut. Aus einer losen Verknüpfung von Stimmen, Körpern und Sound entstehen dabei auf der Bühne Assoziationsfelder, die sich im Kopf der Zuschauer zu Schlachtfeldern formen.

Published

Peaches: There’s Only One Peach With the Hole in the Middle

Photo: Aris Akritidis for INFRINGE 

For the PEACHES epic stage revue “There’s Only One Peach with the Hole in the Middle” HYENAZ directed and choreographed the nine person dance group CLUSTERFUCK. The ensemble comprised artists Adrienne Teicher, Mad Kate, Federica Dauri, Jao Moon, TRAUKO, Ginger Synne, Lori Baldwin, Bishop Black and Martini Cherry Furter.

Performances at Kampnagel, Hamburg, Royal Festival Hall, London, Musikhuset Aarhus and Volksbühne, Berlin in 2019

Published

Instinct

INSTINCT is a film that germinated in 2013 and was finally completed in 2019, a collaborative project between Mad Kate, Adrienne Teicher, Marit Ostberg, Ester Martin Bergsmark and Jasco Viefhues. INSTINCT is about the queer imaginary; a queer love/crusing story where possibilities emerge for imagining our own bodies differently, sharing bodies, and exploring bodies that we might only be in our fantasies. In these dreams we find possibilities to connect with each other beyond bodies and see in each others’ bodies our fluidities and our queerness.

INSTINCT will premiere at the 14th Annual Berlin Porn Film Festival between 22 October and 27 October 2019 at Moviemento Theater.

Published